Tulsa's Hill registers 'best 1-for-9 game ever'
Posted: Sunday March 19, 2000 07:04 PM
By Ryan Hunt, CNNSI.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Even in the midst of his worst game of the season, Tulsa forward Marcus Hill sure had a knack for timing.
Saddled with foul trouble all game, and firing blanks from the field, one shot changed everything for Hill and the Golden Hurricane.
Hill's key 3-pointer -- his only points of the game after missing his first eight shots -- with 7:12 remaining put Tulsa ahead to stay, part of a 14-0 run that catapulted the Golden Hurricane from five points down to a 69-61 second-round victory over Cincinnati.
"When it went in, it was a big relief," Hill said of his 20-footer from the right wing. "I hadn't hit a shot all day. I kind of let [Cincinnati guard Pete] Mickeal know about it when it went in. That was a big shot and I'm not afraid to take big shots. Coach instilled the confidence in me. He gives me the green light -- even if I'm 0-for-80."
To Hill, it just about felt like it. His three points matched his lowest total of the season.
"Part of being tough is physical and mental, and all that kind of stuff," Tulsa coach Bill Self said. "But another part of being tough is when you're 0-for-8 and you have the guts to take the ninth one."
That ninth one changed momentum permanently in the direction of Tulsa.
Hill's 3-pointer came 34 seconds after another 3-point bomb by Dante Swanson to reverse a 50-45 Bearcat advantage. Before the flurry, Cincinnati had outscored Tulsa 38-17 over the previous 20 minutes.
"It was absolutely huge," Tulsa guard Tony Heard said. "I knew at that point it was our day. We took their best punch and looked them square in the eye. They didn't think we were going to come back. They thought we were going to lay down."
For Hill, it was sitting down that was the problem.
Tulsa's second-leading scorer played only four minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. While on the floor, he was being shut down by Mickeal, who has a reputation for be one of the nation's most relentless defenders.
But one flick of the wrist was all he needed.
"Without a doubt, it's the best 1-for-9 game I've ever had in my life," Hill said. "We're in the Sweet 16, man. I don't have to score any points for us to be successful. But I'm sure glad I had those three."